Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu is a surprise entrant at the Prefontaine Classic which will be the 2023 Diamond League finals slated for Sunday (17) at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon
After finishing third at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Mu was quoted saying she was switching off her mind from the track for a more relaxed holiday.
“Let me now go home and finally go on holiday and take quality time off the track and field,” Mu told the press.
It seems that Nike might have a hand in this change of mind as they fully sponsor the Prefontaine Classic event and they dictate on the caliber of athletes to take part in the event for commercial purposes.
The 21 year-old who has snubbed three races this season including the Millrose Games in February, Music City Track Carnival in June and Ed Murphey Classic in August has no option but to be on the start line.
If the youngest woman in history to hold Olympic and world titles in an individual track and field event will honor the invite then she will have to get past the dancing queen, the World 800m champion Mary Moraa from Kenya, who beat her last month in Budapest and World silver medallist, Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain.
Mu did not meet the qualifying mark for the Diamond League final and also she did not have a wild card but it seems she has been granted entry due to the fact the hosting country usually has a reserved bonus entry.
Moraa and Hodgkinson will be chasing to lower Athing Mu’s Meeting Record of 1:55.04 that she set in 2021.
The 2019 World 800m champion, Halima Nakaayi, 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Natoya Goule-Toppin from Jamaica and the British record holder for the indoor mile, Jemma Reekie will be fighting for the top prize too.
Other contenders include the Oceanian record for both indoors and outdoors in the event, Catriona Bisset, a triple European Athletics Championships silver medallist, Rénelle Lamote and Sage Hurta-Klecker from the United States.